Archive for May 2, 2011

Welcome to my third in a series of CPU block tests I’ll be working on for the new i7-2600K processor.  This is Swiftech’s flagship water-block the Apogee XT in revision 1 format.  Swiftech is now also shipping a revision 2 which is essentially the same block with less restriction and the same thermal performance.  So while this isn’t the latest revision it should be equal in terms of thermal performance and essentially the same block other than restriction.  I tested the Apogee GTZ in my Q6600 roundup and was looking forward to getting my hands on the latest design.

This sample I purchased myself from one of my favorite water cooling shops, sidewinder computers.  While perusing sidewinder, I noticed they had the XT rev 1 on sale for $20 off normal, so I couldn’t resist and wanted to see how it would do on my new i7 2600K since there is so little testing on these latest cores.  If you haven’t already shopped there, I would highly recommend it…one of the very best shops in all of water cooling to order from stateside.

I personally chose the Apogee XT because of my previous experience with the Apogee GTZ and it’s inherited modern mounting system.  With the smaller i7 2600K core, I had hopes that the more controlled mounting system on the XT would provide some performance/consistency benefit.  The XT in other reviews also performed pretty well, and I liked the looks of it…so I wanted to see one for myself.

Highlights

  • Easy Mount System ( Tool free and no loose parts!)
  • Complete Intel Package (Includes back-plates, barbs, clamps, TIM, manual)
  • All metal construction (brass top, copper base, steel hold downs and back-plates)
  • Hold Downs and back plates for Intel (1155,1156,1366)
  • G 1/4 BSP threading Alternate inlet option provide large compression compatibility
  • Plating to prevent brass oxidation (Base copper is bare)
  • Bowed Base

Packaging & Contents

It comes in a plain black box with a white printed sticker of which my sample was hard to read due to handling and storage of the blocks having worn the light print over time.

Opening the box reveals the user guide and 1155/1156 hold down above the block. Clamps and TIM on the right, and barbs in back.  The block mounting system itself is actually serving dual purpose here to protect the block which is unique and clever.

Package Contents, barbs and clamps included..

The package includes pretty much everything you need for Intel 1155,1156, & 1366 users planning 1/2″ barb systems, but lacking pieces for 775, AMD, or 3/8″ barb users.

  • 775 users will need to contact Swiftech for a free 775 back plate.
  • AMD users will have to order the AMD kit separately for compatibility.

There is an installation guide provided that is also available via web PDF download. Swiftech provides the installation guides for the XT you can view prior or later and print (IN COLOR) if you so desire: http://www.swiftech.com/apogeext.aspx#tab4

The intel installation guide is under the “Documentation” heading near the bottom of the page and the same as the black/white version included in the package. It’s a fairly simple 4 step guide that should be enough to get most people going, but it’s not extremely detailed.  For example, there isn’t any mention of the center vs alternate inlet plate, which backplate is which, etc.

Black and white double sided letter sized user guide

The package also does come with Artic Ceramique TIM compound, but I would suggest something better such as MX-2 for an extra boost in performance.

Unwrapped

Overall the packaging was good for me and all 1155/1156/1366 users, but absent of all that’s needed for AMD and 775 users (will need to order/request separately).  The user’s manual was also a bit limited, but a good place to start and more than I would read anyhow having installed blocks before.  Swiftech is generally very generous in their packaging accessories, and that’s consistent here as well.  Many blocks do not come with a back plate, let alone a set of nice metal barbs and clamps, so I was very pleased with the package as an 1155 user.  Really the only thing I didn’t use was the 1366 bracket and TIM tube..the rest was put to good use..:)